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Category: Future Of Text

Continuing symposium on the future of text.

Prioritising Social Networks

An interesting question is wether all networks are social.

Martin Hanczyc’s TED video shows how quickly social interactions form.

Chris Stringer emphasises how important social networks have been for our success.

This is then a fundamentally important reality: Networks are what makes things happen and this is then why I think that it’s so crucial we enhance the inherent networks in texts.

Wikipedia refers to the interaction when defining social: “The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms as applied to populations of humans and other animals. It always refers to the interaction of organisms with other organisms and to their collective co-existence, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and irrespective of whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary.”

I would say that this means that all networks are social, since a network where information is transferred without any kind of interpretation or analysis, is not a network – it’s a transfer between two points only, since nothing is passed on further.

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“Neanderthals’ large eyes ’caused their demise'”


“A study of Neanderthal skulls suggests that they became extinct because they had larger eyes than our species. As a result, more of their brains were devoted to seeing in the long, dark nights in Europe, at the expense of high-level processing. By contrast, the larger frontal brain regions of Homo sapiens led to the fashioning of warmer clothes and the development of larger social networks.”

Post continues:

“”Since Neanderthals evolved at higher latitudes, more of the Neanderthal brain would have been dedicated to vision and body control, leaving less brain to deal with other functions like social networking,” she (Eiluned Pearce of Oxford University) told BBC News. This is a view backed by Prof Chris Stringer, who was also involved in the research and is an expert in human origins at the Natural History Museum in London. “We infer that Neanderthals had a smaller cognitive part of the brain and this would have limited them, including their ability to form larger groups. If you live in a larger group, you need a larger brain in order to process all those extra relationships,” he explained. The Neanderthals’ more visually-focused brain structure might also have affected their ability to innovate and to adapt to the ice age that was thought to have contributed to their demise.”

Interesting. It contributes to the sociality vs specialist adaptations importance.

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